Egg2Cake: Making memories with paper

[Alyson Kuhn] Egg2Cake isn’t about baking — though business partners Jamie Diersing (above right) and Kate Rivinus Blackman (left) previously worked together at a company named Baker, which happens to be a corporate brand consultancy and integrated design firm. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I knew nothing at all about Egg2Cake when one of their greeting cards (see below) made me laugh in disbelief. A quick click later, the headline — “playful paper goods for making merry memories” — moved me to call them for a kuhnversation.

Inside message: Hang in there. Sometimes you gotta look at things from a different perspective.

What’s the story behind the name Egg2Cake?

 

Jamie Diersing: It was my working title for a book about motherhood. My daughter, by the way, is now 6. I acknowledge that billions, maybe trillions, of women have been through this journey [motherhood], but I wanted to capture the experience in a fresh way, with lots of wordplay on motherhood terms. I shopped it around unsuccessfully … and then realized I could use my concept to create a line of products for new moms.

Jamie’s love of wordplay and the birth of her daughter led to her Momglishmania.

Kate Rivinus Blackman: When we founded our company this past year, we also realized that the name Egg2Cake could signify all aspects of our business — embryo-to-first-birthday for parenting; ingredient-to-dish for entertaining and celebrating; and idea-to-finish line for everything else. We should also say that the number 2 stands for the two of us. We’ve been colleagues and friends for 11 years, working virtually — meaning long-distance — for seven of them.


Kate is an ardent archiver of family photos, correspondence and memorabilia, including recipes.

What inspired the “merry memories” aspect of your business?

JD: I am crazy about documenting things. I feel compelled to write everything down.

Odes to Olivia: Jamie’s daughter Olivia has led a comprehensively documented life.

KB: Jamie has been a consummate record keeper for years. She gives very cool keepsakes to friends and family to record amazing details of times spent together.

JD: Friends say, “How do you do this?! I can’t even get my pictures printed out!” I see that people have great experiences, including with their kids, and we want to help people capture the everyday moments that are so precious. We’re making it easier for people to do this.

KB: We don’t see our company as a paper goods company as much as we see it as a memory-making company.


Egg2Cake’s non-occasion cards can almost make a virtue of procrastinating or over-indulging.

The look and tone — and candor — of your products are quite modern. Are there family traditions underlying your notion of documenting?

 

KB: Absolutely. Our new line, Toast, is dedicated to the riches of the past inspiring the present. It began with a journal my grandmother kept, where she would note all party successes and not-so successes — and I keep one, too. We thought it would be fun to revive the entertaining journals from generations back. But along the way we connected with our family histories and realized that the Toast line can help people feel more rooted through celebrating all that they are: where they came from, the traditions they keep, the celebratory adventures they make. We will launch the line in the late spring. Throughout this process, we have been channeling the character Auntie Mame, whose mantra was, “Live, Live, Live!”

A little typographic whimsy and an exclamation point can make someone’s day (after).

What “provoked” your not-exactly-occasion cards?

 

KB: There’s so much emphasis on single-day holidays and so much pressure to remember and recognize calendar events. Our before/after/halfway cards are our way of poking fun at the social pressures and providing some flexibility or leeway. For a spouse who’s stressing because he realizes his anniversary was the day before, our day-after card puts a positive spin on the negative, with the message, “Why celebrate just one day a year?” [It’s] for the friend who remembers a birthday a day too late for the card to arrive on time … on the flip side, sending a day-before card puts some surprise in the predictable and traditional.

How does technology figure into the way you work, given that Kate lives in Los Angeles and Jamie in Cincinnati?

JD: It sounds cliché, but technology has changed my life. If it weren’t for -mail, PDFs, remote servers and FedEx, the last eight years of my life would have been dramatically different. I remain eternally grateful for having had the opportunity to work full time for Baker, in a creative and challenging position, while at home and not being too far from my daughter in her early years. And I relished the never-ending contrasts that were before me: in my slippers, looking out on a herd of deer on my snowy, wooded three acres while presenting annual report concepts to an executive committee in sunny L.A. via conference call … and then walking out of my office to eat lunch with my daughter and her grandparent.

Views from Jamie’s home office in Cincinnati

KB: Technology is like a third partner to us, enabling us to do things faster, around the clock — which is good and bad! — and to reach out to the world. For example, we just shipped our first order to Kuwait last month. As great as technology is, though, it’s worth mentioning that we drool over paper goods the way some people salivate over a good steak.

Kate’s room with a view at home in Los Angeles

May I ask what you shipped to Kuwait?

 

JD: Of course! A baby boutique in Kuwait ordered almost the entire Momglish line — they heard about us from recent press. That’s a testament to technology! I find it phenomenal to turn my computer on and receive an e-mail for an international order. A scrapbooking store in Singapore and a baby boutique in Jamaica were also big on Momglish products, especially the Mamentos journals. There are many Americans in these communities, and English is a strong second language [for others].

I do admit to obsessively tracking the Kuwait package — I’ve always had a thing for geography. I thoroughly enjoyed checking on its progress daily, from Cincinnati to Indianapolis to Paris to Dubai to Kuwait City … the contrasts are mind-blowing, and to realize we have become a miniscule part of global commerce! At this point, it’s still a thrill to sell to anyone … whether that’s a neighbor down the street or a store owner halfway around the world … to know you’re putting something out there that might make someone laugh or chuckle or feel a little more on top of capturing and preserving their family life. It feels like a dream.

Very ’musing: Mamentos journals come in B.C. (before child) and A.D. (after delivery).

See a bit more of Jamie’s and Kate’s worlds at Prêt à Voyager. See more of their products at Felt & Wire Shop.


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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by Cindy Salant on 04.4.11 at 11:12 am

    Love the Mamentos…

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